Over the years, many questions and even criticisms have been leveled at Hartland Publications regarding our policy of carrying books that quote versions of the Bible other than the King James Version (KJV). We have recently re-examined our policy and that of Hartland Institute in general. We have chosen to adopt the long-standing policy of Hartland Institute as our own. This policy has been developed through much prayer and consideration of the issue by major leaders of our ministry.
Bible Version Guidelines for Hartland Institute
- The Majority Text (Byzantine text type) is considered the best New Testament source text among collections of original source manuscripts. The Textus Receptus family is thus accepted as a common, reliable basis for New Testament translations.
- The Masoretic Text is regarded as the standard basis for Old Testament translations. (Most Reformation-era, Old Testament translations are based on the Masoretic Text, with some reference to the Greek Septuagint.)
- Although not perfect, the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is regarded as the best common, generally available English translation from the Majority Text.
- The KJV should be the “standard” English Bible used.
- Even in its original languages, the Bible is not word-inspired, thus, no translation of the Bible can be, although some defenders of the KJV believe it to be word-inspired or treat it as if it is.
- It is recognized that the KJV is not always the easiest to read or understand for many English-speaking people.
- Other acceptable English translations (based on the Majority Text or Textus Receptus) exist, such as Webster’s 1833 Bible, Matthew’s Bible, Tyndale’s New Testament (now published with updated spelling), the Coverdale Bible, the Bishop’s Bible, the Geneva Bible, and many smaller, modern projects such as Jay P. Greens’ Modern KJV.
- Other versions may be used for research, comparison, education, or alternate readings (clarity, editorial, etc.). Speakers should use their best judgment in clarifying the meaning of difficult texts in the KJV, such as when using versions with clearer translations of specific texts.
- The New International Version (NIV) or similar twentieth century, ecumenical translations are held as untrustworthy for doctrinal instruction.
- It is recognized that the New King James Version (NKJV) contains some serious doctrinal inaccuracies, and users of the NKJV need to be aware of these.(e.g., John 5:24; Ephesians 2:5; Hebrews 9:3,4,12; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 13:16)
- It is acknowledged that from time to time Ellen G. White used versions other than the KJV, for clarity. It is not wrong to do similarly, provided that doctrinal principles are undiluted and unaltered.
- For non-English speaking people, it is recommended that Reformation-based (Majority Text- or Textus Receptus-based) translations be used as “standard” Bibles whenever possible.
- It is recommended that those unfamiliar with the problems of modern Bible translations be educated to whatever extent possible and provided with these guidelines.